Ethical Climate Type, Self-Efficacy, and Capacity to Deliver Ethical Outcomes in Public Sector Human Resource Management
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND - In recent years, ethical behaviour within public sector workplaces has been of increasing interest. One way to describe the ethical characteristics of workplace environments is the multidimensional construct ethical climate. Workplaces may be divided into different types of ethical climate environment on the basis of similarity of profile across climate dimensions. PURPOSE - The purpose of the study is to examine how different types of public sector ethical climate environment affect both human resource practitioner (HRP) perceived capacity to act and their self-efficacy when faced with ethical dilemmas. DESIGN / METHODOLOGY / APPROACH - Two hundred and seventy six public sector HRPs were classified as working in one of five types of ethical climate using the typology of Shacklock, Manning and Hort (2011). Each practitioner was presented with 15 hypothetical scenarios. Each scenario contained an ethical dilemma, and each required some degree of non-compliance by the HRP to produce an ethical outcome. For each scenario, the HRPs were asked to judge: perceived realism of the scenario in their organisation; degree of self-efficacy they would have in achieving an ethical outcome; and level of non-compliance to the scenario from three perspectives (a) the ideal response, (b) their own response, and (c) the 'typical' HRP response. FINDINGS - Significant differences were found between HRPs operating in the different ethical climate environment types for (a) perceived realism of the scenarios, (b) the level of HRP non-compliance judged to be typical, and (c) the level of self-efficacy respondents judged they would have in achieving an ethical outcome were they to be confronted with the dilemma. CONCLUSIONS - The findings of this study support the notion that different types of ethical climate in organisations will affect both HRP's self efficacy and their capacity to deliver ethical outcomes when faced with ethical dilemmas.
Journal of New Business Ideas & Trends
© 2011 Australian Business Education Research Association. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Business and Management not elsewhere classified
Human Resources Management